The Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat, but I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn’t fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers.”
He said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!”
He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times.”
Looking back, it might be easy to judge Peter for saying that he was willing to defend the Lord to His death. If we put ourselves into the situation, we would realize that Jesus, the one that we know has never been wrong, just predicted that one of the 12 would betray Him. Then He points out Peter as one who would “turn.”
That must have hit Peter hard. The fact is, we are all weak in our own flesh. No matter what we may think about ourselves now, when tested under extreme conditions as Peter was about to be tested, we would fail too. We only have one hope and that is to trust in Jesus to help us. By telling Peter this, Jesus gave Peter protection against despair later. He told Peter what to do when He turned back again. Jesus had already arranged for Peter’s protection.
All of us are like Peter in that way. We have all sinned and do not deserve anything from God except punishment. Jesus stood up for us and now we have “turned again.” Isn’t it amazing that Jesus has chosen us even though we didn’t deserve it? This is the kind of person that God is.
Rather than desiring to do it all on our own, we should take comfort in the protection that Jesus can provide by the Holy Spirit. By His power we are able to overcome, and that is exactly what Peter was to do later. Historic records tell us that Peter ended up getting crucified for His belief in Jesus much later. He had the Holy Spirit at that time and was able to overcome the natural tendencies of his flesh. We have that same Holy Spirit. God is very powerful in the life of believers like us and we can expect to overcome because Jesus saved us, not because we are so strong.